- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 25, 2008
- 4 Comments
Sitting in the Pizza Hut Park press box last night, I got into a discussion with a couple writers about the overall standings in Major League Soccer. Basically we all agreed that the parity is clogging up the standings and no one is running away with the points here this season.
Week nine is even more evidence of that. Three clubs in the east are atop the overall standings, clubs in the west are starting to pick up the pace as LA, Dallas and Chivas all picked up big wins to clog up the western standings and the overall league standings.
Almost a third of the way through and just 12 points separate the best from the worst in MLS.
Some things stood out for me this weekend. I think as I am pressed for time here again this weekend due to the Memorial Day holiday, that I will just fill you in on some points that I saw from this week’s action around the league.
Overall, I thought this week had some solid attendance, except for in Dallas of course. I asked Dallas GM Michael Hitchcock about the low number (8,960 showed up) and he said it was a matter of not throwing enough eggs into the game’s basket. They marketed for the LA game a week prior and were starting to market for the Houston and Chicago games coming up. I think it was a mix of bad press due to the Steve Morrow firing, the holiday weekend, and the club’s overall ignoring of the game with the causal fans.
I do think some things were answered out of these clubs this weekend:
New England Revolution 1 – 0 Columbus Crew:
- Columbus has cooled off, though that game very well should have been a draw. The late goal was a killer one if anything.
- New England continues to look stronger each week that they are healthy. I talked about them with some people in Dallas and most agree with me that this club would have probably been a pace setter if they had been fully healthy from the start this year. They’ve looked real good in the last couple of weeks.
- Give credit to Columbus keeper William Hesmer. Yet another PK stop for the kid. That’s his third PK stop of the season. Too bad his block of Shalrie Joseph led to the game’s only goal just second later.
- Gutsy call on the PK though by the official. It was worth calling but that late in the game its never an easy call.
- Kheli Dube goal was a good reason to teach the little ones that you always follow your misses! Dube is starting to impress me here though in the last few games. Nice rebound goal.
- This game was probably one of the better ones of the weekend. Very even all across the board, it really should have ended in a draw.
Chicago Fire 5 – 1 New York Red Bulls:
- New York’s defense isn’t nearly as good as people were making them out to be. As we saw today they can get beat from any point on the field. I’ve been saying it for weeks that they were a bit overrated.
- Chicago still seems to be one of the more consistent clubs out there. Blanco with a goal and two assist will probably help earn him the player of the week nod.
- Chad Barrett showed he can score again today. He’s still one of the more frustrating players to watch, loads of talent but his head isn’t always on his shoulders right. Or his feet aren’t attached correctly.
- A good bet that most people will have Chicago at the top of their weekly rankings this week. Deservingly so too.
FC Dallas 2 – 1 RSL:
- I will keep my thoughts brief on this one since I provided a live commentary on this one last night from Pizza Hut Park. Great performance out of a few guys for Dallas, most notably Dominic Oduro.
- The biggest question is now: Do you start Oduro in the next game? Or do you keep him as a super-sub type of player? While I think three goals in two games, including a game winner, I like him in the super-sub role.
- The offense for RSL was pretty boring to watch last night until Fabian Espindola came on. Why he wasn’t starting for Robbie Findley is beyond me.
- Speaking of Findley, I think this kid is officially in a sophomore slump here.
- Two first half red cards were really the only going on in the first 45. Seriously it was about the most boring half of play I’ve seen in some time.
- Thankfully the last 20 minutes made up for it. Too bad some folks decided to leave with 10 minutes to when Dallas was down 1-0, that will teach’em.
LA Galaxy 3 – 1 Kansas City Wizards:
- KC played solid on the road early but again, this club fails to put it together for a full 90 again. They had their chances but again their defense let them down.
- Landon Donovan adds to his league-leading totals with his 9th goal of the year.
- David Beckham’s late goal was something else. I knew it wouldn’t take him too long to score one of his 50-60 yard goals in this league. He made it look way to easy too.
- LA never looked like they wanted a draw after Donovan’s goal. Got to love the killer instincts out of Rudd Gullit’s club these days. Eight goals in the last two games. That’s some quality effort there.
DC United 3 – 2 Toronto FC:
- Almost the curse of Danny Dichio, almost. Toronto found ways to get up early again on DC but let’s give DC the credit here for fighting back and winning this one. We all know how much they needed it.
- I don’t think this loss will hurt Toronto as much since they were able to win earlier in the week against DC, but they still haven’t found their winning touch on the road so far.
- Another tough PK call here. Jamie Moreno adds yet another PK goal to his career totals. As much as you have to credit him for being the league’s all-time mark here but most of his goals have come from that spot.
- I think the win easily saved Tom Soehn’s job here. Had they lose 2-1 he would be looking for new employment sometime this week.
- Nice to see Luciano Emilio wake up here. Nice effort to stay with the play and hammer home the rebound from Santino Quartana’s rocket of a shot.
- Had Toronto won this game you can bet Dichio would be getting player of the week votes. Three goals in two games this week would have easily won it for him. Especially two game winners.
Chivas USA 2 – 1 Colorado Rapids:
- Wow, again I will say Colorado is one club I cannot figure out here this season. It may be a thing that I just need to see them in person. But another sub-par performance here from them at home.
- In fact the Rapids have yet to record back-to-back victories here this season. Indication some people are giving them more praise than they really deserve here.
- Chivas is finding ways to win here again and that may be a tough thing as they get healthy here for other clubs. They have the talent be dangerous here.
- How about Jorge Flores? This kid’s story is still something special here. Another goal for the wonder-kid, a game-winner here.
- Colorado did have the chances on goal but it was one of those games that they just couldn’t find the back of the net. More indication that they need a better attack up top that is more consistent. I like Omar Cummings and guys like that but they may still need to go out and sign another striker here this summer.